Watch Palma Violets rambunctious new video ‘Rattlesnake Highway’ – Premiere

Palma Violets

Palma Violets

London rockers draw upon their outrageous live shows in new clip

Like any meaningful relationship or a really good taco stand, music with true, long-lasting value has a tendency to hit you when least expected.

Assembled sometime in 2011, English rockers Palma Violets (bassist/vocalist Alexander “Chilli” Jesson, guitarist/vocalist Sam Fryer, keyboardist Peter Mayhew, and drummer Will Doyle) don’t so much play on stage as they conquer it like 6th century barbarians.

They are known for their rowdy, balls-to-the-wall live shows. We’ve seen them beat the hell out of their songs at Lollapalooza, Glastonbury, SXSW 2013, and  Jimmy Kimmel’s late night show. Now, their dynamic stage presence is the focus of their new music video for 180 standout “Rattlesnake Highway”.  Directed by Douglas Hart, the clip  intercuts with some outrageous archival footage of Pentecostal snake handlers., but mostly awesome live footage that makes you want to see Palma Violets in the flesh ASAP.

See Palma Violets up close and personal on their extensive fall/winter tour, including appearances at Treasure Island Music Festival and The Weezer Cruise.

Palma Violets 2013-2014 Tour Dates:
10/08 – Philadelphia, PA @ Boot & Saddle
10/09 – New York, NY @ Webster Hall
10/12 – Mexico City, MX @ Capital Corona Festival
10/14 – Seattle, WA @ Neumos Crystal Ball
10/15 – Vancouver, BC @ TBA
10/16 – Portland, OR @ McMenamin’s Crystal Ballroom
10/18 – Berkeley, CA @ University of California, Berkeley
10/19 – San Francisco, CA @ Treasure Island Music Festival
10/19 – Los Angeles, CA @ El Rey Theatre
11/02 – Amsterdam, NL @ Melkweg Oude Zaal
11/03 – Brussels, BE @ Ancienne Belgique
11/09 – Sao Paulo, BR @ Planeta Terra Festival
11/14 – Buenos Aires, AR @ Planeta Terra Festival
11/18 – Wolverhampton, UK @ Wulfrun Hall
11/19 – Lincoln, UK @ Engine Shed
11/21 – Leeds, UK @ Leeds Metropolitan University
11/22 – Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK @ Newcastle University
11/23 – Glasgow, UK @ O2 ABC
11/25 – Norwich, UK @ Waterfront
11/26 – Manchester, UK @ The Ritz
11/28 – Oxford, UK @ O2 Academy Oxford
11/29 – Coventry, UK @ Kasbah
11/30 – Plymouth, UK @ University Main Hall
12/02 – Southampton, UK @ Southampton University
12/03 – Bristol, UK @ O2 Academy Bristol
12/04 – Brighton, UK @ Concorde 2
12/05 – London, UK @ Coronet Theatre
02/13-17 – Jacksonville, FL @ The Weezer Cruise

Palma Violets Interview – Chilli

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Palma Violets
This ecstatically fun U.K. punk band built a following the old-fashioned, DIY way, skipping the trendy London club circuit to make its own scene in its sleepy Lambeth neighborhood. The Palma Violets’ great debut LP, 180, recalls the Clash and Sixties garage rock. It’s a classic British sound that’s been missing from British rock lately. “In London right now, it’s a very Nineties dream-pop thing,” says bassist Alexander “Chilli” Jesson. “We don’t have anything against it. But I do like a bit more . . . balls.”



Palma Violets Announce North American Tour Dates

The band will heading off on a five-date jaunt following their lengthy tour in February.

palma-violets_300_250_80_s_c1Rough Trade signings Palma Violets are set to tour their ‘180’ debut later this year, with some newly scheduled North American dates being announced.

The four-piece play this year’s Reading and Leeds fests, plus European dates at Benicassim and Rock am Ring.

Check out the full touring schedule below, including new dates at New York’s Webster Hall and Washington’s DC9, among others.

02-05 Arendal, NO @ Hove Festival
06 London, UK @ Hyde Park
09 Nürburgring & Nürnberg, DE @ Rock am Ring & Rock im Park
11-14 Kinross, UK @ T in the Park
21 Benicàssim, ES @ Benicàssim Festival
23 Nyon, CH @ Paleo Festival
27 Byron Bay, AU @ Splendour in the Grass
29 Northcote, AU @ Northcode Social Club
30 Sydney, AU @ Oxfort Arts Factory

02 Montreal, QC @ Osheaga Music Festival
03 Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON @ The Grove Music Festival
04 Chicago, IL @ Lollapalooza
07 Oslo, NO @ Oya Festival
10-12 Tokyo, JP @ Summer Sonic
10-12 Osaka, JP @ Summer Sonic
23 Reading, UK @ Reading Festival
25 Leeds, UK @ Leeds Festival

01 Stradbally, IE @ Electric Picnic
02 North Dorset, UK @ End of the Road Festival
14 San Diego, CA @ Cashbah
15 Phoenix, AZ @ Pub Rock
17 Austin, TX @ Red 7
18 Denton, TX @ Dan’s Silverleaf
19 New Orleans, LA @ One Eyed Jacks
21 Miami, FL @ Gramps
22 Orlando, FL @ The Social
23 Atlanta, GA @ Drunken Unicorn
24 Birmingham, AL @ The Bottletree
27 Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brendas
30 Boston, MA @ The Sinclair

01 New York, NY @ Webster Hall
02 Washington, DC @ DC9
04 Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
05 Madison, WI @ High Noon
06 Minneapolis, MN @ Triple Rock
08 Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge
12 Mexico City, MX @ Capital Corona
14 Seattle, WA @ Neumos
15 Vancouver, BC @ Venue
16 Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom
20 San Francisco, CA @ Treasure Island Music Festival

A New Band To Watch: Palma Violets, England

Young, talented and unruly:  Palma Violets

Young, talented and unruly: Palma Violets

Out now the debut album ‘180’. Available from: iTunes

Rough Trade’s newest darlings have their sights set high: they’re aiming for the moon.

If there’s a band out there right now that put on a more exciting show than Palma Violets, we don’t know about them.

Quickly becoming renowned for their raucous stage presence – as our most recent review of their Boston Arms show reveals, “as Chili Jesson returns from one of many crowd surfs, he’s almost thrown out of his own gig” – we can’t quite get enough of the Lambeth foursome, so you can only imagine our delight when we discovered, they’ve announced some more tour dates.

Now, the band were already set to head out on the road alongside Django Django, Miles Kane on the NME Awards Tour in February. They also performed at five more intimate shows in March in Exeter, Cambridge, Sheffield, Middlesbrough and Oxford, following the release their debut album ‘180’.

Interview: English band Palma Violets

It might only be late afternoon, but upstairs in Brixton Jamm, there’s already a party raging and the air is thick with smoke and blasting music. Palma Violets, we are tactfully informed, have “made themselves at home.” The band’s keyboardist Pete Mayhew has set to work in a neighbouring room, and is crawling across the floor wielding marker pens; busy fashioning a makeshift sign from a sheet. Bassist Chilli Jesson is also deeply engrossed in the complex task of styling his hair. He abandons his tub of gel cheerfully to greet us with a rather princely bow, before gesturing towards the sofa and slamming shut the door to block out the deafening row next door. He then perches on the arm of the sofa, and attempts to take possession of our phone. “What are these?” he says, peering scrutinisingly at our notes. After a quick skim read, and reassurances we’re just here to chat, Chilli retreats, evidently satisfied. “I think we probably are the worst interviewees ever,” laughs frontman Sam Fryer, by way of introduction.

Palma Violets shouldn’t be so hard on themselves. Despite being slightly chaotic, and having an apparent aversion to staying in the same place for more than three seconds, they are also highly amusing and full of enthusiasm. The UK tour, Chilli tells me, has been “fucking amazing” and he has especially enjoyed converting the sceptics. “People have been coming down saying ‘I’m going to hate them’ and all this hyped shit, and are leaving going, you know, this is actually alright, I can dance around to it. They like it.” “We’re still trying to process what’s actually going on,” adds Sam. “It’s lovely that people want to give us a go.”

Palma Violets seem made for the live show, with crowd-surfing, topless girls, and a particularly humourous moment at their Bestival show where a roadie had to sit on stage holding a cable jack in place. Drummer Will Doyle fondly recalls the set; “that was fun – bit of a Spinal Tap moment with the keyboards.” It’s these infamous on-stage moments that are tallying up the comparisons to a certain famous musical bromance. “The Libertines, for me personally,” Sam tells me, “that kick started everything, the whole sunflower of my musical experience.” “Rough Trade!” yells Chilli, when I ask why Palma Violets receive so many comparisons to a certain other four piece. “I don’t even think we sound like The Libertines,” he growls, pacing around. “At the end of the day,” interrupts Sam, “I think it’s a bad thing if you’re compared to one band, but if you’re compared to a whole range of the greatest bands in history -” He is cut off mid-flow as Chilli begins to reel off musicians. “We’ve been compared to every single band, from The Swell Maps to bloody Echo And The Bunnymen; we’ve been compared to about 50 now.” Will pauses from his task of encouraging Pete to cover the band’s sign in crudely drawn phalluses; “Nobody can put their finger on us, it’s good.”

“We’re still trying to process what’s actually going on”
Chilli has resumed his position on the arm of the sofa, and has also spotted my screen-printed jacket. “The Clash, fucking wicked!” he says, “I’ll buy it off you!” Palma Violets, it turns out, love The Clash, and listened to them constantly whilst growing up. Their high-energy sets, they agree, take a lot of cues from The Clash, far more so than some of the reverb-drenched shoegaze bands they often get compared to. “At the end of the day, we’re more punk I guess,” Sam nods. “We never sit down at the beginning and say ‘we will crowd surf’ though,” he adds, before Chilli interjects. “No, it’s literally just a spur of the moment thing. You just jump around, and the crowd will do everything else, they just need that push.”

The emotion that Palma Violets seem to capture most of all is immediate, full-on, boundless energy. “When we write the songs, we write as if we’re going to perform them, our friends are going to jump around to them” Sam says. “We love the stage. And the chicks too, the chicks are great!” adds Chilli. “But no, for us [the band] was always a live thing. We just wanted everyone to come and see us live and judge us then, rather than listening to 30 seconds of our song on the internet. We don’t like the internet.”

“Music definitely needs shaking up, it’s not in a very good state,” says Pete. Chilli concurs by way of leading a chant. “Change! Change!” The interview threatens to descend into chaos for a second, before Chilli directs it back on track. “No, it’s looking up, like Childhood [tonight’s supporting act] are fucking incredible. There’s a whole wave of new bands now – a year ago there were only about 10 bands getting people excited.” Palma Violets, the band tell me, is largely fuelled by the feeling that music just isn’t the same any more. “I met Sam at Reading festival,” Chilli begins, “and I saw him playing all these great songs and I was like ‘this guy’s a genius’. Turns out he’s not really a genius. But he writes fucking good songs. We all just got together and went for it. Bang. Me and Sam were seeing all these bands and they were just shit. No feeling! That was the main thing. No-one seemed to every give it everything. We formed out of frustration.” Sam interjects “Let’s write some songs with feeling and emotion”. Chilli stifles a laugh. “All the emotions.”

Pete steps back from his sign, proud of the microscopic, almost illegible letters he has used to write the support band, Childhood’s name beneath the heading Palma Violets. I tell Palma Violets I think their sign is cheeky. Unsurprisingly Chilli is delighted. “Cheeky?! We are cheeky!” he grins. “When we ‘co-headlined’ with Savages,” Sam says, trying to maintain order, “it would be like [shouts] “SAVAGES!” and [mumbles] “Palma Violets!” Chaos ensues. “It would be like that!” Chilli shouts, pointing accusingly at the makeshift sign. “That tour was big for us because we’d never really played on a stage before, we’d never had to be professional before.” Fittingly it is at this precise moment that the neighbouring party attempts to infiltrate our side room. “Do you mind!?” Chilli roars, “we’re working here!” As he slams the door decisively, I commend him on his newfound professionalism. “This tour’s just been like a fucking party,” he grins. “They’re our friends, they’ve been our friends for years, and now literally it doesn’t seem to fit. It’s amazing, on tour we’re like ‘yeah!’. We’re like fucking dogs!” Will arches an eyebrow and sighs. “Dogs?” he asks, incredulously. Chilli rephrases. “Excited puppies, we’re like excited puppies.”

Palma Violets, Sam tells me, are halfway through recording the debut, and Steve Mackey is producing it. “He’s a secret genius. He’s excited, we’re excited, and we’ll make a fucking good record,” Chilli gushes. “He let us bring our friends down [to the recording studio] and dance around – as it should be!” Recording, the band tell me, is going well apart from some minor gripes. “I read an interview the other day with some band, and they said, ‘we’re recording our album in St Johns Wood’ [where Palma Violets are also recording] – ‘the food was lovely’. We didn’t get any food, we had to fucking order Dominos,” rants Sam. “Bastards!” Chilli shakes his head and adopts a thick cockney accent. “Ain’t like it used to be. When people talk about the glamorous side of music, they mean that period of getting signed, [that] was the madness side!” “Try and stay unsigned for as long as possible, you get so much free shit.” concludes Will, in a solid piece of career advice.

“Nobody can put their finger on us. It’s good.”
Palma Violets are the somewhat unruly class clowns, so naturally we want to know what they have planned next. Sam reveals a complex, and somewhat surprising plan – the services of Jarvis Cocker. “He’s just got this great talking voice on the radio!” he enthuses. “On Sunday Service, I just really want him to play our song, and just hear him introduce it.” Sam adopts an uncanny impression. “‘This is the Palma Violets with ‘Last Of The Summer Wine’’. I think it would be magical. I’m not forcing him to do it, but Jarvis, if you read this interview, please do it.”

Other than their ‘main aim’ of recruiting Jarvis Cocker, there are other lofty ambitions to be fulfilled. “I’d like to beat Muse to the moon. Space race,” says Sam with a completely straight face. “I think we can, we have more ambition. We already have a song about it; it’s called ‘Neil Armstrong’.” Will points out that the band’s next music video could be on the moon. “You’d need an unlimited budget,” ponders Sam. “Actually, if Rough Trade gave us unlimited budget, I’d shoot our video on the Titanic. Like, underwater.” On that note, our neighbours burst through the doors to survey the finished sign, and my time chatting with Palma Violets draws to a close. “I think we’ve been very honest today,” laughs Chilli, “we’ve told you it how it is.” Chaotic, hilarious, and charismatic, Palma Violets also clearly have ambition and drive – to make entertaining, energy-filled guitar music. However credible their planned mission to the moon might turn out to be, there’s little doubt about it; Palma Violets are about to take off all the same.

Palma Violets debut album ‘180”s tracklist:

1. Best of Friends
2. Step Up for the Cool Cats
3. All the Garden Birds
4. Rattlesnake Highway
5. Chicken Dippers
6. Last of the Summer Wine
7. Tom the Drum
8. Johnny Bagga’ Donuts
9. I Found Love
10. Three Stars
11. 14

Watch Video: Palma Violets – Best of Friends

Palma Violets are an indie rock English band from Lambeth, London. The band formed in 2011, based on the musical partnership of frontmen Samuel Thomas Fryer and Alexander “Chilli” Jesson.

The band’s musical output is primarily based around the rock genre, with some Garage rock and psychedelic influences. Palma Violets’ first single, “Best of Friends”, was voted NME’s song of the year for 2012, and their debut album 180 was released on 25 February 2013.

Much like Arctic Monkeys, the band gained a substantial fan base online before the release of their first single – with multiple live videos of their gigs being uploaded by fans.  The band are signed to Rough Trade Records.Palma Violets will appear on the NME Awards Tour 2013, along with Miles Kane, Django Django and Peace.

On December 9, 2012, the BBC announced that the band had been nominated for the Sound of 2013 poll.

Palma Violets were formed by bassist/vocalist Alexander “Chilli” Jesson, guitarist/vocalist Samuel Thomas Fryer, keyboardist Jeffrey Peter Mayhew and drummer William Martin Doyle. On January 10, the band premièred their track, “Step Up for the Cools Cats” on BBC Radio. Having been selected as Zane Lowe’s Hottest Record in the World, the Steve Mackey-produced track was released on to iTunes shortly after; serving as the second single to be taken from 180 following the Rory Attwell produced debut single, and winner of NME’s ‘Track of the Year 2012’, “Best of Friends”.

Watch the band performing live at Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop in Austin, TX, during SXSW. Recorded March 13, 2013.



Johnny Bagga’ Donuts
Rattlesnake Highway
Tom the Drum
Chicken Dippers
Best of Friends
Step Up for the Cool Cats
Last of the Summer Wine
We Found Love

Host: Kevin Cole
Audio Engineer: Steve Winders
Cameras: Jim Beckmann, Shelly Corbett & Scott Holpainen
Editor: Jim Beckmann



Awards and nominations

Year Organisation Award Work Result
2012 BBC Sound of 2013 N/A Nominated
NME 50 Best Tracks of 2012 “Best of Friends” Won
2013 Best New Band N/A Won